How a Passion Begins

There are a million things I should be doing right now. My husband and I just returned from a 6 day road trip to Chicago to see our daughter, Erin and all the “stuff” of life piled up while we were away. I should be out in the yard picking up dozens of littered branches that had come down in a storm that happened while we were gone – and yet I’m compelled to write.

Writing became a habit a few years ago, when I would wake up early in the mornings with my mind fully active and spinning with ideas.  Instead of tossing and turning in bed, I would get up, go to the computer and write – like this morning. I was encouraged by a friend to share some of those writings through blogging, so I did. I know that I break every blogging rule, because I write what happens to be on my mind, instead of being consistent to a theme and I generally don’t provide a lot of links, but somehow readers like these ramblings. Regardless, writing is something that is part of me now.

This past weekend we happened to be in Chicago while the Chicago Blues Festival was going on, so of course we had to devote a day to it.  It was a bittersweet experience as so many blues legends had passed away this year and it wasn’t the same without them – Pinetop Perkins, Willy “Big Eyes” Smith and Hubert Sumlin to name a few. But being at this festival brought me back to the first time I attended the Chicago Blues Festival

Junior Wells

in 1993 when I was in Chicago shooting a story on the city for the National Geographic Traveler Magazine. My plan was to cover the festival for one day as part of the story – I ended up going all three days and that’s when my passion for the blues began.

I hadn’t even thought of shooting video back then, but 2 years later my partner Tom and I began shooting 35mm motion footage for stock – and that’s when my passion for motion began.  Funny, within a two year period, two passions surfaced in my life and collided into the making my first short documentary The Delta Bluesmen, six years later.

As I listened to the music last Saturday in Grant Park, my mind wandered in a million directions, but once again I thought about how the universe works – that is if you don’t fight it.  The times in my life when I have just followed my instincts, have been the most gratifying times of all.  Most of the time, I was simply listening to a higher voice inside, instead of following the dogma of the day. It hasn’t always worked out and I’ve had my share of rejections, but that all goes into the messy mix of life.

I try to not linger on the negativity that comes with “rejection” and focus on the “rewards”.  There may not have been as many as I would have liked – but they would not have happened at all, without the lead up.  It all comes with the many years that go into the “overnight successes”.  Life’s too short to put road blocks in my own way or talk myself out of doing something with a hundred “great” reasons to rationalize it. And so – I’ll take the bitter with the sweet any day.

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